OPINION: McDonald’s sandwiches are frozen in time
April 9, 2017
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McDonald’s recently announced that by mid-2018, all of its Quarter Pounder burgers will be made with fresh beef instead of the traditional, flash-frozen patties it currently uses.
Wendy’s, a fast-food chain known for using fresh beef and one of McDonald’s largest competitors, quickly responded to the announcement.
Wendy’s has a valid point.
McDonald’s is the most recognizable fast-food brand in the world. When you serve one percent of the world’s population every day, you have a responsibility to be serving people food worth their money.
It makes sense that McDonald’s will only serve fresh beef with its Quarter Pounders. Fresh beef is more expensive and has a shorter shelf life than flash-frozen beef.
A Quarter Pounder with cheese costs about four dollars, and it’s about five dollars for a double Quarter Pounder with cheese. But Big Macs and Bacon Clubhouse burgers also cost around four dollars.
Why isn’t McDonald’s converting these sandwiches to fresh beef? McDonald’s is known for its signature Big Mac sandwich. Shouldn’t that be its first priority?
It may seem unrealistic to use fresh beef with the cheaper sandwiches, but with how much money McDonald’s makes every year, wouldn’t it be beneficial to find a way to make a profit on the dollar menu cheeseburgers, yet use fresh beef?
It is unclear at this time if McDonald’s will be implementing the fresh beef policy with these sandwiches after the test with the Quarter Pounders.
McDonald’s seems hesitant to move forward and change their ingredients. This is strange considering the chain is one of the last major fast-food chains to do so.
Wendy’s has been serving fresh food since the beginning, but it isn’t the only fast-food chain to feature fresh ingredients on the daily. Chick-Fil-A makes food to order, cooking its chicken fresh each day. Chipotle not only started out using all fresh ingredients, but also took it a step further and committed to using GMO-free ingredients in all of its food.
If these restaurants and others began their businesses by using only fresh ingredients, why did McDonald’s take so long to switch?
Unlike the other stores, McDonald’s is known to be extremely fast. So fast, that certain franchises in Florida tested out a rule where you get your food in under one minute or it’s free.
Preparing food to order takes time. That’s the trade-off to using the fresher ingredients. So the question is, is McDonald’s willing to sacrifice the short wait times to offer higher quality products? Only time will tell.
For McDonald’s, they’re making the right decision to begin switching over to fresh beef. Their mistake is not doing it sooner.